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LOUISVILLE – Before he could entertain any question, L.W. Barnes sported a look that combined the frustration and shock of the high school baseball season abruptly ending.
“This was a tough one,” the Anderson County coach said moments after Louisville Trinity had held on for an 8-5 win in game two of the Semi-state 4 series at Eastern High School. Trinity clinched the series, 2-0, to move on to the state tournament at Lexington's Applebee's Park next week.
Tough might not do justice to the way Anderson went down.
The Bearcats loaded the bases in both the sixth and seventh innings but just got single runs both times. The killer might have been in the sixth when, with two outs, leadoff hitter Jordan Alves drove one that had the look of at least a bases-clearing double. Instead, a stiff wind blowing in held the ball up enough for left fielder Grant Epperson to make a running catch near the fence.
“You have to give him credit for making a great play on that ball,” Barnes said of Epperson. “Jordan did everything he was supposed to do. He hit it as hard as he could.”
Instead of a 7-6 lead, Anderson was still looking at a 6-4 deficit.
Trinity added a pair of insurance runs but the Bearcats put up a fight, scoring a run and loading the bases with one out, but Trinity reliever Ben Fuchs came in to get the last two outs.
Trinity starter Jon Rueff got the win, while Jacob Brown took the loss. “Brown gave us everything he had out there,” Barnes said.
Trinity overcame five errors to up its record to 25-9. Chris Berry was a double short of the cycle and drove in three runs for Trinity. The Shamrocks move on to play either Harrison County or Beechwood in the state tournament next Thursday.
“They are a very good ball club,” Barnes said of Trinity, “but we didn't make them work hard enough to pay for their mistakes.”
Anderson closed the year out at 26-12. For a complete report on the Semi-state and a look back at the 2009 season, one of the best ever in Anderson baseball history, see the June 10 edition of The Anderson News.
Trinity 8, Anderson Co. 5
TRINITY 200 301 2 – 8 12 5
ANDERSON CO. 010 201 1 – 5 5 2
Rueff, Porter (6), Fuchs (7) and Bryan. Brown, DeLong (4), Russell (7) and Fogle. W – Rueff. L – Brown. 2B – McCormick (T) 3B – Epperson (T), Berry (T) HR – Berry (T). Records: Trinity 25-9, Anderson Co. 26-12.